Course access is controlled by semester dates and course state (published/unpublished). In this case, instructor access applies to TAs and Course Builders, too.

Semester Start and End Dates

By default, students can't participate in a course before a semester starts or after a semester ends. These dates come from the start and end dates for semesters that are defined in MAUI. Instructors can change the start and end dates of a course, which will override the semester start and end dates.

Instructors can change the end date of a course for up to a year after the semester end date has passed. One year after the term ends, instructors can no longer edit dates in their course. Check the Academic Calendar to confirm semester start and end dates. Contact the ITS Help Desk if the course end date needs to be extended more than a year from the term's end date.

Course Start and End Dates

Be aware that changing start and end dates of a course will override the semester start and end dates.

Instructors, TAs, and collegiate administrators can access a course regardless of the course state or semester date, but it is important to keep these differences in mind when working with courses that run outside of the semester dates defined in MAUI.

Learn how to change the start/end dates of a course and restrict student access after the duration of the course and how to change the start and end dates of a course and allow preview access instead of full access after the duration of the course.

Ways Students Can Interact With Courses

Different states that a Canvas course can be in:

  • Unpublished: the course is unavailable to students but is available to instructors and collegiate admins. Generally set while course is in preparation.
  • Published: the course is available to students. Generally set throughout the semester, to allow interaction. A course can only be moved from the Published state to the Unpublished state if you have not entered grades. Once you enter grades for students, the next state you can set the course to is Concluded.
  • Concluded: the course is put in archived mode and is non-interactive, but students can still access the course material. Generally set after final grades have been submitted.

Ways Students Can Access Courses

  • Full Access: students have full access to the course that allows them to write discussion posts, take quizzes, upload files to assignments, and more.
    • Keywords: Participate in course, Interact.
  • Preview Access (Read Only): students can preview content, announcements, discussion posts, quizzes, etc., but they can't do anything in the course until they have full access.
    • Keywords: Viewing course
  • Restricted: students cannot view or interact with any part of the course.

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